Recently I have been lucky enough to have a few days away in the beautiful Cotswolds, an area that has been on my wish list of places to visit for some time. It certainly did not did not disappoint. As well as being a welcome break it was a good chance to enjoy food that had been prepared for me… as always this was a real treat!
When I take calls from other coeliacs on the advice line at Juvela, I always encourage people to eat out and enjoy this experience as much they did prior to being diagnosed with the coeliac condition. However, I am mindful that you have to have confidence in the eatery and know it will be safe for you to eat. In the 13 years since being diagnosed I have only been caught out on a couple of occasions. I do feel as I am so strict with my diet, if I do now consume gluten by mistake my symptoms are obvious and very quick (usually sick within 1-2 hours). On each of these occasions I have to admit I did have a level of doubt when my order was being placed or when I received the meal and in hindsight should have not eaten the food or questioned further. With this in mind I do instil that I check thoroughly and always go with my gut instinct if the food is safe and stand by my moto of ‘if in doubt, leave it out’!
I love eating out and being Coeliac will not stop me doing so, however I do all I can to make sure that I am completely happy with the establishment and gain confidence with the staff and their food knowledge to ensure all will be well. There are some great places to eat and again just wanted to share with you my recent experience eating gluten free when away from home.
Our base for our stay was at Chester House Hotel in Bourton-on-the-Water. The hotel was good, I have to say I did not test their gluten free expertise much as we only ate breakfast there (apparently gluten free pizzas was on offer from their restaurant!) Breakfast was good, I went for my usual, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, as this is a luxury for me and something I only really have when I’m away.
I think I have mentioned this before, but it was noticeable again, that there always lots of hot options and fruit when it comes to a gluten free breakfast at hotels and B&B’S. However, personally if my stay was a little longer I would like to opt for something a little lighter some days. Because of this I try to remember to take along a box of my favourite gluten free cereal as I always know I have that I will have something to fall back on if my appetite is a bit smaller. My current favourite is the Juvela Crispy Rice (which I am proud to say I no longer add extra sugar too!) When not eating this for breakfast I do like to make an occasional batch of chocolate crispy cakes with good old Cadburys Buttons*!
Although we had lots of highlights in our short trip away, one of my favourite things was having morning coffee in the beautiful gardens of Lords of the Manor in Upper Slaughter. The waiter even brought me over a homemade gluten free shortbread biscuit, which was amazing! I have mentioned in a previous blog that this hotel was on my wish list of places to stay and it certainly did not disappoint. I just now need to save up some pennies to allow me dinner and overnight stay at this place, as it was gorgeous and I feel they will have the gluten free diet perfectly covered after simply enjoying great service, fabulous coffee and delicious gluten free biscuit!
Our evening meal was simply a curry in a little take away in the village. I enjoyed a fabulous madras with mushroom pilau rice. I’m sure you will be aware if you have read previous blogs, my favourite ever food is curry, which is good as on most occasions a curry from an Indian restaurant will be naturally gluten free (as always please do double check for yourself to make sure all good to go). The following evening, we checked out the local in Bourton-on-the-Water and visited the fish and chip shop as we wanted to grab something tasty and sit by the water in the village. Unfortunately although they did advise me the chips were fried in separate oil, the same utensils were used for everything so I decided not to risk having a bag of chips on this occasion (the lady in the chip shop was grateful I had pointed this cross contamination issue). Anyway, all was not lost as I popped back to the Indian take away that were had visited the night before and they put me together some rice and their delicious madras in the same container, which I then thoroughly enjoyed eating outside, whilst sat by the stream in the company of my husband and the ducks!
From little day trips out to long adventure away from home I hope that you have fun. Happy, healthy gluten free times to you!
*As always check out no gluten containing ingredients.